Ariza Lifts Houston Rockets to Overtime Thriller – Player Grades

Jan 10, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives the ball as Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) defends in overtime at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives the ball as Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) defends in overtime at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Let’s be clear, this Houston Rockets  overtime victory was the best win of the season and came in spite of James Harden who almost gave the game away repeatedly today. This continues the winning streak to 3 games in a row.

Trevor Ariza was the hero of the day hitting shots to force overtime and holding Paul George in check specifically in the final frame and overtime to ensure the Rockets victory.

169. . 103. 100. 107

Rockets Player Grades

A. Continuing his hot shooting streak Beverley’s first two shots were successful 3-pointers. He was active early, but seemed to avoid some wide open shots later in the game when the Pacers employed a double team on both Harden and Howard. He helped rally the Rockets in the late comeback on both ends of the court and was the BEST back court player on this day. 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, plus 7. PG. Houston Rockets. PATRICK BEVERLEY

SG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN. C+. Watching Harden throughout the early stages of the game it appeared he was forcing his game especially offensively and allowed the zebras to bother his mind set as he drove into players almost defying the refs to call a foul (not the best strategy as the zebra’s declined to play ball). Harden has to stop making games about himself and LEAD his team something his counterpart did a much better job of today. It wasn’t until the 5 minute mark of the fourth quarter trailing by 13 points that Harden finally seemed to get the memo it was time to just play and forget about the whistle.<p>His insistence of forcing shots instead of riding the offense that got them back in the game almost cost them the game as his fifth turnover could have been disastrous, but fortune prevailed.  Sorry, but this could easily have been a loss and if it had been I would have placed almost the entirety of the responsibility on Harden. Fortunately there are positives to take away and hopefully he can use the pluses gained today to play with more focus and less concern on whistles as the team moves on to their next game. It’s not often a player can fall a single assist and rebound shy of a triple-double and garner such negative results from me, but that’s exactly what is happening today. 21 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, minus 2 </p>

A+. While many have been on Ariza’s back for his lack of offense it seems unfair to expect him to guard the best opponent player while also providing double digit scoring. When the team isn’t playing as a unit defensively it puts so much more pressure on Ariza. Multiple times Ariza did his job on George only for a teammate to allow a Pacer a wide open three because his court mates didn’t close out. Still, Ariza long with Beverley, Howard and Terry were the primary reason the Rockets even got back in this game and ultimately it was his baskets that got them to overtime and also won them the game. 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers, minus 1. SF. Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA

What a night for @TrevorAriza! 24 points & shot 5-9 from 3PT.

— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 11, 2016

A+. Returning to the line-up after sitting out the last game Howard was effective immediately with a simple pin down play coupled with a dunk to open the scoring.  Not to steal former Rockets player Clyde Drexler’s thunder, but he has a valid point in that Houston should just keep running that play over and over until the opposition can stop it.  As per above despite not getting a friendly whistle Howard didn’t allow it to effect his performance and on the few occasions the Rockets made defensive efforts of offensive runs it was Howard who was on the floor more often than not. Once again he posted a double-double and brought his A game to the court. 21 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals,  3 turnovers, plus 16. C. Houston Rockets. DWIGHT HOWARD

C+. Watching Capela early in the game he was active and showcased improvements in his passing and was filling up the stat sheet. Always a capable coach Frank Vogel countered by adding pressure to Capela in the second half which resulted in stabilizing Capela at least on the offensive end. He remains a work in progress, albeit one who you can see is growing with additional experience. His grade may seem high, but given his experience and roll he did his job more than adequately. 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers, minus -8. C. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA

Best Reserve:

Houston Rockets. COREY BREWER. B. The accolades have been few and far between this year, but Brewer’s defense proved to be extremely helpful in the latter stages of the game especially in the fourth quarter and overtime. 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, plus +13<span style=. SG

Best Opponent:

PAUL GEORGE. A. George continues to do it all and while he wasn’t shooting well early he upped the ante in the second half when the Pacers turned their defensive effort up a notch and it resulted in George having an amazingly productive day. His 7 steals were a game and career high.  20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 steals, 4 turnovers, minus 1. SF. Indiana Pacers

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